The three-day Meadows Music and Arts Festival kicked off its second year at Citi Field on Friday with a stellar lineup that included Jay-Z, Migos, Tegan and Sara, Blood Orange, Two Door Cinema Club, and Run the Jewels. The day was sunny and sweaty-hot, and the crowds enthusiastic but sparse enough so that there were no lines for anything.
In a notable moment during his headlining set of hits and new songs, Jay-Z paid tribute to Colin Kaepernick, dedicating his song "The Story of O.J." to the NFL quarterback whose refusal to stand during the National Anthem has made him a lightning rod of controversy:
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As was the case last year, the Meadows isn't held within Citi Field itself, but sprawled across the stadium's vast parking lot. So large is this expanse of asphalt that even with the festival's impressive infrastructure in place--four stages, dozens of food and booze booths, various corporate-sponsored attractions, VIP (and VIP Platinum) compounds, villages of port-o-potties—much of the space still feels empty, as if you have to trudge across the barren plains to get from one point to the next. There are some communal seating structures scattered throughout, but for the most part if you want to sit, or need to lie down, you'll be doing so on the flat cement.
Decent food is easy to come by at Meadows, with festival favorites such as Big Mozz, Mighty Quinn's, Ramen Burger, and John's Juice serving up their usuals, as well less common vendors like Taqueria Diana, Cafe Habana, Tea and Milk, and New Territories (home of the Unicorn Parade Milkshake). The art part of the proceedings comes in the form of colorful, Instagram-bait murals.
The festival continues today (featuring Gorillaz, LL Cool J, Future, and Erykah Badu) and tomorrow (with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nas, Weezer, and Broken Social Scene, among many others), and tickets are still available for both days at all levels.